At East Dallas CrossFit, You'll Be Lifted, Tossed and Pulled Into Shape.
Welcome to Body Movin', our new recurring feature where, each week, we take a closer look at wherever you'll find health-minded folks jogging, crunching, lifting or otherwise moving their bodies in the name of fitness. Because, listen, we all need to get off of our ass from time to time. Hey: No pain, no gain.
This week, we joined the East Dallas CrossFit team.
Fast Facts on East Dallas CrossFit.
• Degree of Difficulty Scale for Beginners: 5 out of 10.
• Calories Burned in Hour: 165.
• Muscle Soreness After The Fact: 7 out of 10.
• Location: 7230 Gaston Avenue.
• Classes Offered: Regular CrossFit, 50-or-older masters, endurance and Olympic lifting, and more.
• Introductory Offer: Free intro class every first and third Saturday at 11 a.m.
• Price: $150 fee for the intro course, and $150 monthly membership for unlimited classes. Discounts are offered for students, teachers, police officers, firefighters and military.
East Dallas CrossFit is all about constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. This program is not random, but periodized and applied to the athlete in a progressive manner so as to foster growth in both strength and skill. Walking into this sweaty, not-air-conditioned gym, it's easy to see why CrossFit has such an intimidating reputation right away. The walls of the space are lined with so many different pieces of work-out equipment for any and all styles of conditioning and strength training.
But I was surprised to discover that the workouts themselves were much less daunting. When I stopped by the East Dallas location recently, a small group of about 15 individuals that make up the regular Saturday morning class each worked at his or her own pace to finish the scheduled workout for the day.
According to EDCF owner and personal coach, Ryan Savard, this is by design: “Everyone is doing the same work that is written on the board daily,” he says, “but it's in different formats for everyone relative to their own ability.”
The hour-long classes are laid out to help the trainee get the most out of his/her workout time.
To wit: Each class begins with a short stretch and warm-up period that the class participates in together. After the warm up, everyone grabs their own equipment, the music is cranked to full volume and the timer begins. Everyone pushes each other to do their absolute best, cheering each other on as they increase their weight, pound by pound. Some CrossFitters opt to work in teams, switching off lifting or rowing while others may choose to work alone on a completely different exercise.
Our short work out consisted of 10 kettle bell swings, 10 crunches, 10 squats, and a 200-meter run around the building multiple times in a row. The idea is to incorporate every kind of exercise into a short, back-to-back cycles; I saw a mixture of rowing, jogging, weight-lifting, band-pulls, push-ups, pull-ups and platform-jumps. The gym supplies all of the equipment, and the trainers make sure the clients use what they need.
But it all boils down to this: What matters in a CrossFitt session is getting each specific interval completed by the time the clock runs out.
For those interested in getting involved with this high-intensity group workout program, there are a few steps one has to take before stepping up with the masters. EDCF provides a three-week-long intro class that completely introduces you to the world of CrossFit. This program is designed with eight classes that provide your body with a base level of fitness before beginning the regular classes.
For those looking for a little less commitment at the jump, EDCF also offers completely free intro classes on the first and third Saturdays of every month, which are meant to give you a taste of what the real classes might include.
No matter which route you choose to get started, just know the entire class will be very relaxed and your fellow classmates will most certainly be eager for you to succeed and, more important, enjoy your time. In our experience, that encouragement and unexpected support from strangers during our workout helped us leave feeling like we all had just accomplished something together.
“It's very much a team environment here,” Savard says. “It's not about who finishes first or last, as long as you get through it.”